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Adobe® AIR™ Bible by Jeff Yamada, Ryan Taylor, Benjamin Gorton

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Chapter 12. Using Native Operating System Windows

There are many features that qualify AIR as a true desktop platform, but perhaps the most obvious one is that it uses a new feature for Flash and Flex developers: the use of the host operating system (OS) windowing environment. Flash, Flex, and Ajax developers are accustomed to the restrictions of browser windows, but in AIR this isn't the case. Full use of browser chrome windows is fully supported by the NativeWindow API.

NativeWindow is the class that exposes the methods and properties used to create, manage, and customize your application's windows. For Flash and Flex developers, using windows is similar in nature to managing multiple SWFs in a single browser, or on multiple browsers, though the communication between windows has been greatly improved.

The use of ExternalInterface is no longer the sole means of cross runtime communication. From a central location, you can control and manipulate each AIR application window that your application creates, and you can use listeners to communicate between these windows.

For Ajax developers, the use of windows will also seem familiar; working with them is not far from working with separate floating browser windows.

One of the most exciting aspects of AIR's new windowing functionality is the level of window chrome customization possible. Chrome is the term used to describe a window's container or facade. For most applications, the OS chrome is used to contain an application. In Microsoft ...

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